By Bill MacLeod, Executive Director
As underscored in our May Newsletter, the Lord began to stir the waters in 2012, then following a visit by myself and two board members in late 2018, church and mission leaders began to pray regularly about a city-wide, church-mission-mobilizing event being hosted by Arizona churches in Phoenix.
Today, we unveil the Mission ConneXion Southwest website – and the great momentum that has taken place as a result of these leaders’ faith, and their meeting twice a month, to pray – for almost three years!
A Steering Team was formed of those who pray, made up of pastors and leaders from a diverse assembly of influential churches and mission agencies. While the pandemic kept them from meeting in-person, it allowed them to build networks among all kinds of groups, and in May they met for the first time in seven months’, and I was privileged to participate:
The prospect of unified Arizona churches hosting an event for the community where the Church was “in the driver’s seat” motivated them. Billy Thrall, an influential leader in the Valley who has been behind a number of large, city-wide, church-unifying efforts, said “we have demonstrated that Arizona can be a “Serving State”, but my question has been, “could Arizona also become a Sending State?” (as in missionaries!)
L-R: Billy Thrall, Ethan Collins, Jake Embleton with Bob Blincoe
Billy was soon joined by Ethan Collins, Global Outreach Pastor for Scottsdale Bible, and Jake Embleton, missions’ staff at Central Christian Church and director of Launch Global to form an Executive Team… all following Bob Blincoe, President of Frontiers, who had gotten the ball rolling back in 2012, when he suggested a Mission ConneXion Southwest for Phoenix.
On the website you will find their 50-500-5000 Vision and Strategy, which lays out the prospect of identifying 50 churches to raise up 500 cross-cultural workers undergirded by 5000 people of prayer.
- 50 Churches who want to serve as Partner Churches toward this vision, may do so by completing the application.
- You may be one of the 500 Missionaries that the Lord will raise up and send out from Arizona to the ends of the earth, to serve in areas of the world’s “greatest (gospel) need and opportunity”…
- You may be one of the 5000 Prayer-warriors committed to praying for the LORD to do all of this and more.
- There will be plenty of Volunteer opportunities at the November 5-6 event and you may see yourself serving in one of the following, much-needed, roles.
The theme of this first Mission ConneXion Southwest is “What’s Your Role?” – highlighting that everyone who is a follower of Jesus has a role to grasp, based on each person’s abilities, giftings and calling – to fulfill the Great Commission Jesus left us, His Church, to do.
- Four Plenary Speakers, Dr. See Seng Tan, Dr. Florence Muindi, Pastor Noe Garcia, and Jeff Lewis will help us explore that question from their unique perspective and life-experiences.
- Over 50 Workshops led by experienced church-mission practitioners will lay a foundation that will go into more depth, and
- An Exhibitor Hall with some 40 Booths representing 40 sending organizations will help those who want to discover where they might serve in short, or long term areas to work out a role they may feel God is calling them.
We look forward to welcoming you on November 5-6, and watching the Lord answer the “What’s Your Role?” question for you, and many others in the Southwest!